The Burning of Parliament

the Burning of the Houses of Parliament painting by JMW Turner

The Burning of the Houses of Parliament by J.M.W. Turner

On October 16th, 1834, the UK Houses of Parliament were engulfed by flame. The fire began when two underfloor stoves that were  being used to burn the Chancellor of the Exchequer’s stockpile of old tally sticks, wooden sticks with notches in them to indicate value that were used to keep the national accounts until the late 1780s, ignited panelling in the Lords Chamber. The fire quickly got out of control, destroying many buildings, including the House of Commons. The devastation was witnessed by painters Turner (see above) and Constable.

In an inventive and educational turn, ParliamentBurnsLive is using twitter to livetweet the accounts of what happened in real time. You can follow the events of the Burning of Parliament through the account @ParliamentBurns, or by following the hashtag #ParliamentBurns.

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